Wed 22 Sept 2010 – Eurocontrol reports that 83 airports across 25 European states have so far committed to implementing continuous descent approaches (CDAs). Of these, 33 already offer CDAs at some point in the day and a further 13 are currently carrying out flight trials, with at least 15 new implementation support visits in the pipeline, says the pan-European air navigation organization. The European CDA Action Plan was launched last year by aviation bodies representing airlines, airports and air navigation service providers. As CDAs allow aircraft to fly higher for longer, major savings can be made in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduced noise exposure for those who live close to airports, says Eurocontrol.
Operational flight trials and work in aircraft simulators show that a CDA from an altitude of about 10,000 feet should save around 100kg of fuel and over 300kg of CO2 compared to the classical stepped approach. With 9 million flights in European airspace every year, potential reductions in fuel and emissions are therefore high.
At last week’s Aviation & Environment Summit, an interactive map developed by Eurocontrol showing the status of CDA implementation across Europe was launched. The map is now available on the Eurocontrol website, though requiring a lengthy registration procedure to gain access (see below).
Eurocontrol is coordinating the Action Plan through its CDA Implementation Team, which has met with operational stakeholders covering a total of 104 different airports across Europe. Experts from Eurocontrol, CANSO (the air navigation services association), IATA and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) are also contributing to the development of a new ICAO manual on continuous descent operations, which may lead to an update of Eurocontrol’s existing European CDA Guidance next year.
“Following the last Aviation and Environment Summit, ACI Europe, CANSO, Eurocontrol, ERA and IATA have been working closely together to implement the Joint European CDA Action Plan. We are already seeing tangible benefits of which the CDA internet map is but one. Over the coming months we will be focusing on promoting the widespread usage of CDA and establishing a CDA culture which will pave the way to more advanced performance in the future,” said Andrew Watt, Environment Manager at Eurocontrol.
ATAG Executive Director Paul Steele commented: “Through innovative tools like the interactive map, the CDA Action Plan is ahead of schedule in its aim to reduce emissions by 500,000 tons of CO2 a year, and shows the industry delivering on its commitments to cap net carbon emissions from 2020 and halve net emissions by 2050.”
Eurocontrol CDA Action Plan (pdf)
To access the map:
1. Go to the Eurocontrol website: www.eurocontrol.int
2. Click on the button ‘Extranet Login’ at the top of the page
3. Once you have completed the registration process, forward your details to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list of recognised users
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